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Revelations - Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation
by Elaine Pagels

"The Book of Revelation is the strangest book in the Bible - and the most controversial. Instead of stories and moral teaching, it offers only visions - dreams and nightmares. ... Exploring how this book has fascinated readers for two thousand years tells us much about ourselves and about how religion evokes such powerful responses - for better and for worse - to this day.." p 1
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Session   Course Outline and Links to the 10 Session Pages 
Blue Session links (below left) indicate Session Pages are posted.
Click on the Date to call the session pages and supplementary information.
Material and notes are added steadily through the course.
Sep 17
Introductions of the class, and of the course objectives.
Video of Elaine Pagels with Rabbi Weiner on her book Revelations. Discussion
Handouts - Book Reviews by NYT and Wayne Holst, Introductory Sermon by Rev Peggy McDonagh, and 6 page excerpt of Pagel's "Gnostic Gospels" that introduce the scholarship behind this subject well.
Sep 24
Ch 1 Challenging the Evil Empire, Rome.
PPT review of Ch 1, and selection of some seminary slides. Background on the sites of the 7 Churches. Background on the meanings and practice of numerology in Jewish tradition at the time of Revelation. Discussion p1-36=35 notes 90 p179
Oct 1
Ch. 2. Visions of Heaven and Hell: from Ezekiel and John of Patmos to Paul.
PPT review of Ch 2, and video excerpts from Elaine Pagels at The Long Now Foundation.
Discussion p37-72=35 notes 110 p188
Oct 8 Thanksgiving.  No bookclub.
Oct 15
The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics By Elaine Pagels
handout material from the tanner lecture.
Oct  22
Ch 3. Other Revelations: Heresy or Illumination?
ppt and discussion p73-102=29 notes 70 p198
Oct 29
Ch 4. Confronting Persecution: How Jews and Christians Separated Politics from Religion
ppt and discussion p103-132=29 notes 77 p205
Nov 5
Ch 5. Constantine's Conversion: How John's Revelation Became Part of the Bible.
ppt and discussion p133-170=37 notes 102 p212
Nov 12
The Revelation PowerPointl of Phillip Martin from pppst. 10 slides.
The Varieties of Literalism. The geography. Pre and Post Millennialism. Left Behind Series.
Responses to Friends and Family.
Nov 19
The Dangers of Dominionism.
Video of the Fora talk on Chris Hedges journalist on the Evil of Dominionism. edit down the 90 minutes.
Nov 26
Rev Peggy ?Understanding Apocalypse? (a seminary paper from a dream)
Pagel?s Conclusion - The Legacy of Good Against Evil.
171-177=6 notes 9 p224

Holy Manners The background on the phrase and why we have adopted it. The guidelines for our studies.
Click to visit the St. David's Adult Ed Forum  Internet Discussion Group at Yahoo - the St. David's Forum. The archive is public and readable. Participation is by invitation. Click HERE if you would like to join. You will then be able to post your own responses to the list and will be emailed the notices and contributions of the others. Click left to visit the archives of the site (read only). There are presently 88 persons.
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. ... Proverbs 23:12 (NIV)
Group Facilitator. Wayne Holst              EMAIL WAYNE

I spent most of my life thinking like a church professional, rather than as a regular congregational member. My training as a pastor always had me asking myself 'how can I apply this discovery, insight, new information to a regular church setting?'

Often, clergy have been hesitant to share the discoveries they have made through a 'critical' approach to the Bible with their parishoners because they wonder how laypeople might accept it. I have found that many thinking laity are professionals in their own fields of endeavour and understand a critical approach very readily. What they seek are ways of relating faith to daily living.

I am grateful for the journey I have been taking through ordained ministry to teaching at the university and serving as a fellow layperson at St.David's United Church. Here we find that questioning and honest expression of our faith and doubt is readily accepted and supported.
Group Facilitator. Jock McTavish           EMAIL JOCK

I am a student and a poet, a democrat and a techocrat, an eclectic eccentric. I grew up in a loving Baptist community, so in my heart I'm still a Bible loving evangelical. As I grew in learning I found a new home in the United Church whose tolerance embraces the broadest range of Christian understanding. I most enjoy the illumination of our ancient traditions by modern scholarship. For they show in clear novel ways that the perspectives of the Special Ones were seldom the understandings of those that followed. They show all knowledge to be in relationship .

There seems a lack of understanding in our secular world for religious practices. The reasons why I still gladly - even necessarily - attend church are difficult to voice to those unfamiliar with church, or those injured by church. Elliott got it right. We find our way back to the place we started from. But with new understanding.